Category Archives: Global Education

The Jobs of Today May not Exist Tomorrow – How do we Prepare Students?

Not long ago, I wrote a blog post entitled: Lifelong Learning is an Essential Skill, not a Buzzword. The more I read about future-readiness, 21st century skills, job market reports, and advances in technology (especially AI), the more I understand this to be true. Recently, PEW Research published a report on the Future of Jobs & Job Training.


Courtesy of Gerd Leonhard

This report reaffirmed the fact that in the near future, millions of jobs will be lost to automation and AI that can do these tasks not only just as well, but often better than their human counterparts. These are not just rudimentary, repeatable tasks, but sophisticated, white-collar jobs that have generally been considered “safe” from automation: dermatologists, journalists, claims adjusters, financial reporters, and more. With the rise of automated driving, millions of workers who rely on driving as their means of employment are looking at becoming obsolete (long-haul truck drivers, taxi drivers, delivery wo/men, and more).

Pushing aside the very real, and daunting, questions of what this means for our job market and even Capitalism, for educators and parents this means: how do we prepare students for the stark realities of an ever shifting job market? While new technologies may be depleting jobs, knowing how to leverage them will become an even more essential skill in the future.

“The education system will need to adapt to prepare individuals for the changing labor market. At the same time, recent IT advances offer new and potentially more widely accessible ways to access education.”

Looking at how and when people learn job skills and other training will also need to be examined. Will a traditional high school, college, and beyond model remain the default given the rapidly changing employment models?

“A central question about the future, then, is whether formal and informal learning structures will evolve to meet the changing needs of people who wish to fulfill the workplace expectations of the future.”

PEW delves deeply into this topic, asking experts about their vision of the future and determined 5 Major Themes:

Five major themes about the future of jobs training in the tech age

Considering the uncertainty of the future, what we do know is that we must prepare young people to be flexible and agile learners, critical thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators, and to know that they must develop a passion and drive for lifelong learning.

While the article is long, I strongly encourage my readers to check out PEW’s publication and put together your own thoughts.

Cost & Benefits of Online vs. Traditional College

Online and hybrid college courses and programs are becoming more prominent in higher education. While we are still early in the evolution of online education, there are some interesting trends appearing. For example, online courses are (on average) pricier than their brick and mortar counterparts; but largely because of the disproportionate number of for-profit schools. At the same time, attending a course virtually can preclude paying out of state tuition. More students in business students take courses online, but the breakdowns in other courses of study are negligible. However, the most important element of online education is that it is still a struggle for students to finish a degree online.

Online vs Traditional College

The Mobile Educator – Best Podcasts for Educators

I don’t listen to a lot of live radio anymore. Instead, I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts. I can find content specific to my area and take it with me on the go. Here is a great list of podcasts for Educators (all for free and in no particular order):

tns.mxboduof.170x170-75Edutopia Webinars – Edutopia presents engaging webinars hosted exclusively for our audience of educators, parents, and administrators throughout the year. These interactive events are free and universally accessible thanks to support from foundations, advertisers, and donors. Each webinar is designed to connect our valued audience with thought leaders in the movement for educational reform, providing opportunities to learn about the latest research, tools, and ideas from experts in the field. Note: Most Edutopia Webinars are large files, approximately an hour long.

Education & Teaching from Yale – Yale Professors and special guests speak on teaching, education and the important role education plays in our lives.

mza_1941855506054357745.170x170-75Great Teachers by Harvard University – Harvard’s Great Teachers invites you to discover our faculty sharing their ideas, very much as they do every day with undergraduates at Harvard College.

Center for Teaching and Learning at Stanford University – The Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning supports the effective communication of knowledge and the love of learning by faculty inside and outside the classroom, by graduate students in their roles as apprentice scholar/teachers, and by undergraduates as they take their place in the community of scholars.

Google Tools – Google is much more than a search engine. It is a suite of free software and services that can enhance learning, engage students, and make the work of teachers easier. This series of podcasts demonstrates the usefulness and applications for some of Google’s most innovative products including custom search engines, Google earth, iGoogle, Google Calendar and Google Docs. Each podcast will consist of a screencast demonstrating the product in action and suggesting applications for use in the classroom.

mza_3818613649415185422.170x170-75Department of Education Public Seminars at Oxford University – Public seminars from the Department of Education. Oxford has been making a major contribution to the field of education for over 100 years and today this Department has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its Masters and doctoral programmes. Our aim is to provide an intellectually rich but supportive environment in which to study, to research and to teach and, through our work, to contribute to the improvement of all phases of public education, both in the UK and internationally.

Technology Integration by Edutopia – Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.

Harvard EdCast – The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast will mza_3370589433019548374.170x170-75serve as a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.

NPR Education – From NPR: perspectives on great teachers, the science of learning, classroom dynamics and more. The best of Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other award-winning NPR programs.

My Student Uses Digital Story Skills to Solve the World Problems!

Recently, our Director of Global Initiatives, Michael Roemer, Ph.D. issued a challenge to our children: “Is the World Capable of sustaining 10 billion people (a number we are anticipated to reach in the near future). My student answered the challenge with her own video response:

Congratulations young lady! I’m so proud to be your teacher!

Surviving & Thriving – Day One of the Learning Institute at the American School

The end of day 1 of the Learning Institute at the American School of London is drawing to a close. It’s been a great day, if not a bit overwhelming. By the way, they have graciously lent me a MacBook on which to update this blog, so if there are bizarre typos, please realize that I’m using a European Keyboard with British spelling activated. I’m also not over my jet-lag, so please be kind.

Today, we really got to know our new instructor Leah Treesh, a teacher at an International School in Germany and educational consultant for technology. If you have the chance, be sure to check out her website, there’s lots of cool resources and ideas for educators and administrators (I know that I will be culling it when I return home).

Here's a screen shot of one of our mind-maps

Today, we were familiarized a bit more with some of the tools that we will be using. I’m falling in love with the program Mind Meister, that you can use for collaborative outlining. We used it to brainstorm our own thoughts, conceptions, and ideas and it really helped to foster discussion.

I think I’m going to use this for some collaborative, discussion work with my students – especially at the beginning of the year when they are still nervous about participating in the classroom.

We also were introduced to the SAMR model of technology adoption in the classroom – Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redemption. It focuses on the life-cycle of technology in education:

  • At first it is used as a direct substitution for an existing material with no functional change (e.g. typewriters in lieu of hand-written essays)
  • Augmentation is when the tool substitutes for another material/practice and there is minor functional improvement (such as the word processor, which adds on spell-check and a thesaurus).
  • Next is modification, which then permits the technology employed to significantly redesign a task (think of paper replacing slate, which allowed for more permanent creations).
  • Last is Redefinition, which occurs when technology creates its own tasks and achievements that were previously inconceivable or impossible (code writing, video editing, etc).

We then got to play with some cool tools and software on our own and as a group. It was great to collaborate with my overseas colleagues about their achievements and pitfalls, successes and failures, and share ideas and conceptions. We are even blogging as a group: Surviving & Thriving Teachers (where there will be far better ideas resources than what I can share here).

We were given a great list of amazing resources that have been, at the very least fun, and I’m looking forward to incorporating! Cool Tools (thanks Leah for sharing).
I’m excited about what else we’ll be covering and being able to collaborate with my colleagues about trouble-shooting current speed bumps at my own school for their implementation.

How the Internet Revolutionized Education

Courtesy of, check out this infographic about how the Internet has revolutionized education.

Some interesting stats:

  • In 1971 The Open University opens in England with an open admissions policy, and begins broadcasting lectures on television. 25,000 students enroll – it now boasts 250,000 students (the largest University in the UK)
  • In 1989, the University of Phoenix launched its private, online school starting with 12 students — it now has more than a half-million students.
  • In 2004, “Salman Khan records instructional YouTube videos to help his cousins with math. The rising popularity of these videos leads him to found the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit, free, educational online organization.”

Check out the infographic below. If it doesn’t blow up when you click on it, this is the referring page.

Open Course Yale – The Civil War & Reconstruction (iTunes U)

Yale offers a free course via iTunes U entitled “The Civil War & Reconstruction.” You can download the free podcast here. The following is the course description:

(HIST 119) This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction